Organizers cancel fireworks shows, festivals, sports events over drought, heat
Events around the Netherlands are being cancelled or modified due to the ongoing drought and the recent high temperatures. An official national heat wave is expected to be declared this weekend, which happens after five consecutive days of temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius measured in De Bilt, Utrecht.
The thermometer should read 30 degrees in far Noord-Holland, 31 degrees in Friesland and Groningen, 32 degrees in Utrecht and the eastern region, and 33 degrees in the south. Despite overnight temperatures falling as low as 17 degrees, it should rise back above 30 degrees across the country on Sunday.
A fireworks show that was to be held on Saturday evening in Leersum, Utrecht was canceled because of the fire hazard. "Unfortunately, by order of the Utrecht Security Region, the fireworks cannot continue. It is not safe due to the drought," the organizers said.
The fireworks show is part of the annual Bloemencorso Leersum, which has been held since 1952. The fireworks were to be staged from a park in Leersum. Due to the fire hazard caused by the fireworks, the municipality just mowed the entire park.
"Unfortunately, mowing the flowery field was not necessary," said the municipality of Heuvelrug, which also includes Leersum, in a message posted on Twitter on Friday.
The Halve Marathon Vlieland, which was to be held on Sunday, has also been cancelled. The organization made the decision in consultation with the Friesland Security Region and the municipality of Vlieland. It would have been the first time the half marathon was organized since before the coronavirus pandemic, but the organization said it would have been irresponsible to put the runners and volunteers on the course given the heat. "The persistent heat in combination with an easterly wind will cause temperatures to become too high, especially on the shell paths in the dunes area," the Halve Marathon Vlieland website said.
The Harvest Festival in Oldebroek, Gelderland, was also cancelled on Saturday. The party includes inspections of cows, horses and sheep, but the associations that are involved have withdrawn due to the heat. Practitioners of old crafts also cancelled.
The Bemmelse Paarden Dagen, a horse event in Bemmel, Gelderland, will continue on Monday and Tuesday, at least for the time being. The pony market on Monday has been shortened. At that market, which has taken place since 1958, animals are sold with a traditional handshake between traders and buyers.
The 255th shooting competition organized by the Roman Catholic shooting association of southern Limburg (RKZLSB) was to take place in Mechelen, in Limburg. That event was also postponed due to the heat. It will instead take place next Sunday. "After all, the personal health of all participants and all visitors should have priority and is the reason for this decision," said the municipality of Gulpen-Wittem.
A horse-riding competition set for Saturday and Sunday was canceled in Ysselsteyn in northern Limburg, and the BraDeLierloop running competition planned for Saturday in De Lier, Zuid-Holland, was also canceled.
Reporting by ANP